Gas prices continue to skyrocket in Montana and across the country

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Gasoline prices in Montana have risen three cents per gallon over the past week, hitting an average of $ 3.41 per gallon today. Patrick DeHann is the head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy and he said the national average has also increased.

“The national average has jumped about four cents a gallon over the past week and all of this comes as the price of oil continues to rise,” DeHaan said. “Oil prices are a bit higher today. They stand at around $ 84 a barrel, but that’s the reason for the fairly rapid and furious increases over the past three weeks, as oil prices have jumped dramatically following news of an energy crisis. world abroad which is stimulating demand. “

According to DeHaan, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is in no rush to increase production.

“OPEC has been quite slow in increasing production given that global demand is on the rise,” DeHaan said. “It doesn’t look like crude oil production will grow at a faster rate, which would also help lower prices. I think, for now, motorists should resign themselves to having to dig deeper as the holiday season approaches with gas prices more likely to be higher by the end of the season. year than lower.

DeHaan said oil prices could rise again at any time because the supply chain is very inconsistent at the moment.

“It’s not just gasoline,” DeHaan said. “The price of diesel is about 20 cents a gallon higher than gasoline and continues to climb amid some of these supply chain downturns. I think these have been the catalyst for some of the overseas energy problems and China doesn’t have enough coal to power its power plants. I think we need some sort of resolution there as well and I don’t see a lot of improvements coming immediately. I think in the coming months it will get better, especially after the holidays, but for now we are stuck with this very unstable and delicate supply chain. “

It seems the Biden administration and OPEC are not on the same page. DeHaan said the standoff could also impact prices at the pump.

“The Biden administration has made it clear that it is going to keep the United States away from oil,” DeHaan said. “This could potentially be a very stubborn OPEC that sees the shelf life of oil drastically reduced due to the president’s desire to pull the United States off fossil fuels. This could be an indirect attack on OPEC and OPEC may be reluctant to help lower prices given that the Biden administration’s policies conflict with their primary market and primary commodity, which is crude oil. .

The national average is up 17.1 cents per gallon from a month ago and $ 1.21 per gallon more than a year ago.

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